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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top 6 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Click-Through Rate

Yesterday we discussed how to improve your email marketing open rates. Today we'll focus on improving click-through rates, because it's one thing for people to read your email but a whole other deal getting them to take action and click the links embedded in your email.

The following six strategies have helped me improve my camp's email marketing click-through rates as much as 51%. I'm hoping these tactics include your email click-through rates, too.


1. The Pictures and Videos in Your Emails Should be "Clickable"

A pure text email (unless it's incredibly short) will never outperform an email that contains images and/or videos. The pictures and videos in your emails should be clickable links to whatever you want your recipient to see next. You probably don't even need to tell people to click the pictures, because half the time their curiosity will get the best of them, and they'll wind up clicking the pictures on their own volition anyway just to see what happens next.

2. Your Pictures and Videos Should Include Captions with Links

I learned this trick by testing my own emails. I recently sent 300 people the same email, with half of them (150) getting a "clickable caption" underneath a photo. The other half of the group got the same photo and caption, except without a link. The group with the link in the caption clicked through at a 51% higher rate than the group that didn't get the linked caption. I'm not sure why this was -- maybe it's because people's eyes are naturally drawn to pictures over text and they are conditioned to seeing clickable pictures online so they clicked the caption by default. Whatever the reason, I've learned to ALWAYS include linked captions in my email marketing photos these days.

3. Short Emails are Better than Long

People are too busy to read long messages. For goodness sake, they might even be reading your email on their cell phones while driving! This means they realize they better read your email FAST, so maybe they'll only skim it. My suggestion is to keep your emails as short as possible with just a handful of links. If you only include 3 links -- compared to, say, 6 or 8 -- your click-through rate will skyrocket.

4. Don't Put Any Links in the First Paragraph

Here's another tip: Even though you may be focusing on keeping your email short, I suggest holding off on including any links until at least the second paragraph. Links in the first paragraph can be ugly and generally won't pull as well.

5. Include Social Sharing Tools in your Emails

Get Response did a study which showed that email marketing improves dramatically when social sharing icons (such as the option to post your email to Facebook) are present. If you include one social sharing tool, you can expect your email click-through rate to improve by more than 30%. If you include at least three social sharing tools, a 55% higher click-through rate can be expected compared to emails without social sharing options.

6. Include a P.S. with Linked Content;

Given the fact people are pressed for time, it's not uncommon for them to read your P.S. first. (You should always include a P.S. in your email messages!) Your P.S. content should briefly summarize the purpose of your email (such as what your offer is, etc.) and include a link. In my experience, including a link in your P.S. is a guaranteed click; I would be surprised if most of your recipients didn't click the link in your P.S. (as long as your message/offer is interesting enough).

I'm crossing my fingers the six points above will help your email marketing click-through rates improve. It's one thing for your recipients to open your email, but getting them to read the whole thing and click your links is a whole different animal.

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